Magic open ANZ Premiership season with win over Steel in empty Dunedin arena

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have opened their season with a 54-48 victory over the Southern Steel inside an empty Edgar Centre in Dunedin.

Magic’s Whitney Souness takes a pass during the Southern Steel vs WBOP Magic in the ANZ Premiership. Source: Photosport

Following the Government’s announcement on extra precautions around large public gatherings in a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the Magic made the most of the Steel losing their home crowd advantage.

The Steel were slow to get off the mark, falling behind 10-14 by the end of the first quarter but chipped away at the Magic’s advantage in the middle quarters, to briefly snatch the lead.

However, the Magic came out firing in the final quarter to retake control of the match and outscore the hosts by four goals in the final quarter, allowing them notch up their first victory over the Steel in ANZ Premiership history.

Both teams' shooters struggled against some intense defence in the match with the Steel shooting at 70.6 per cent while the Magic's success rate inside the circle was 77.1 per cent.

The result sees the Magic join the Pulse and Mystics on two points while the Steel head to the bottom of the table alongside the Pulse. The Stars sit in between on one thanks to the bonus point they picked up in their close loss to their crosstown rivals.